LIONEL MESSI, who fired in a hat-trick as Barcelona overwhelmed Celtic in the Nou Camp last week, will be out for three weeks after suffering a groin strain as he limped off in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid last night.
After a tussle with the visitors’ Diego Godin in the second-half, the 29-year-old superstar went down holding his groin. He looked distraught when he was eventually taken off.
Barcelona confirmed the Argentine will be out for three weeks with a groin strain in his right leg. Boss Luis Enrique said: “To lose Messi means that football loses. With Messi we are stronger, but we will continue being strong.”
The player’s absence had an immediate impact as Angel Correa scored for Atletico just a minute after his international team-mate went off to level the scores at 1-1.
The injury means Messi will miss games against Sporting Gijon (away), Borussia Monchengladbach (away), Celta Vigo (away) and Deportivo (home), but should return for the home Champions League clash with Manchester City on October 19.
Meanwhile, City will play Manchester United in the next round of the English League Cup after beating Swansea 2-1 with goals from Gael Clichy and Aleix Garcia. There was a scare near the end when club captain Vincent Kompany hobbled off.
The Belgian international was making his first team comeback since damaging a thigh in the European semi-final against Real Madrid in May. He is unlikely to face Brendan Rodgers’ men in Glasgow on Wednesday.
Borussia Monchengladbach had to rely on a late goal from Fabian Johnson to give them a 1-1 draw against newly-promoted RB Leipzig, who opened the scoring through Timo Werner.
The Hoops’ Champions League opponents struggled against the new boys who are playing in their first-ever season in the Bundesliga.
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